Friday, May 18, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: A Maywood woman shopping at a popup produce market in the village in February. | File
Area shoppers looking to visit two popup produce markets taking place over the weekend on May 19 and May 20 in Maywood and Broadview will have another plastic payment option.
Forty Acres Fresh Market, which made its Maywood debut in February, will now take Link cards — the state’s electronic-based food stipend program for low-income residents.
Forty Acres founder Elizabeth Abunaw said that she’s recently acquired an EBT processing scanner that allows her to take the Link payments.
“Every single time I do a market, one of the first questions I get asked is, ‘Do you all take Link?'” Abunaw said, adding that she was approved for the machine this month, roughly two months after putting in her application.
Abunaw said that the ability to accept Link payments is critical to the growth of her for-profit business, which is premised on providing low-income food deserts with quality, affordable fruits and vegetables.
Abunaw said that she wants to break the myth that residents in majority minority and low-income communities don’t buy fruits and vegetables.
“There are so many misconceptions,” she said. “There’s a misconception that black people don’t buy groceries or that we don’t eat produce or that our neighborhoods can’t sustain stores.”
In July, she’ll setup shop inside of a temporary retail space on Chicago’s West Side for the whole month. The experience, she said, will allow her to test the financial feasibility of her business plan.
In the meantime, however, she’s been putting on popup produce markets in Chicago and suburbs like Maywood and Broadview. The ability to accept Link, Abunaw explained, means more than catering to her clientele.
“This is about serving my customers, but it’s also about keeping up with my competition,” she said. “Every major grocery store takes Link. I can’t operate indefinitely without having done that. When you do what’s right for your customers, you do what’s right for your business.”
The Maywood produce market will take place on Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Maywood Multipurpose Building, 200 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.
The Broadview produce market will take place on Sunday, May 20, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Schroeder Park, 2600 S. 13th Ave. in Broadview.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Link Cards are accepted. VFP
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